My Missouri 2021 Photo Project Exhibit

In celebration of its 200th year, Missouri 2021, an initiative of The State Historical Society of Missouri, coordinated the My Missouri 2021 Photo Project and it’s visiting our library!

In 2018, Missouri 2021 invited professional and amateur photographers from across the state to capture and share unique and meaningful aspects of place in Missouri. Of the nearly 1,000 photographs submitted, 200 were chosen for a traveling exhibition – including several of Joplin and surrounding areas!

My Missouri 2021 is oriented around the four seasons and showcases the geographic and cultural landscape of the state. They provide an opportunity on the occasion of Missouri’s Bicentennial to reflect upon and increase the understanding of the state’s rich diversity while recognizing the many things its people share. My Missouri 2021 will be in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery (off of our lobby) from Saturday, September 4, 2021, through Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Shelter Insurance® is the platinum sponsor of the My Missouri 2021 exhibition. The exhibition was designed by PRO Expo Exhibits, the gold sponsor for the show, and supported by contributors to The State Historical Society of Missouri. Exhibits in the library are curated by Post Art Library. For more information, contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041.



Bargains Galore: The JPL “Sale Shelf”

The Joplin Public Library already offers their community a tremendous value for their dollar with their daily operations, but did you know that the Library also has a place where you can BUY books, magazines, DVDs, and more?

The “Sale Shelf” located on the Eastern end of the main lobby presents our public with a browsable selection of donated and weeded items at hugely discounted prices. Part “bargain shop”, part “garage sale”, all good fun – who can resist the urge to buy a stack of new to you items at prices like these…?

DVD’S $1.00
CD’S   $1.00
Visit us today to shop the sale shelf, no Library card is required. Joplin Public Library accepts cash, cards, and checks. Joplin Public Library also accept donations of new or like new, stain and odor-free materials, just bring them to us at the front desk or call 417-623-7953 to arrange a drop off.

The Joplin Writers’ Faire Returns!

After a year-long hiatus, we’re back for 2021! The Joplin Writers’ Faire is scheduled for Saturday, October 9, 2021 from 10am-noon here inside the library.

This year’s line-up includes:

Billie Holladay Skelley

Catherine Valentine

Chad Stebbins

Chris Mitchell

Elton Gahr

F.C. Shultz

Izzy B

Larry Wood

Laura Lynn Wright

Pub Hound Press

Randy Turner

Robert Dopp

S.V. Farnsworth

Sandra Ruddick-Darr

Small Harbor Publishing

William & Doris Martin

The Joplin Writers’ Faire is a free, public event co-hosted by Post Art Library and Joplin Public Library each October. The aim of this event is to connect all sorts of writers to their existing and potentially new audiences while encouraging community support of local and regional writers. Questions? Call Jill at 417-623-7953 x1041.

Please note that social distancing will be observed at this event.

Library now open late on Thursdays

The Joplin Public Library is pleased to announce another extension to open hours. As of Thursday, August 5 the Library will be open every Thursday evening until 8 pm. The previous closing time was 6 pm.

The full list of current open hours for the Library are:

Monday – Wednesday : 9 am to 6 pm

Thursday : 9 am to 8 pm

Friday : 9 am to 6 pm

Saturday : 9 am to 5 pm

Sunday : 1 pm to 5 pm

Come and visit us today!

Tell your Tale with Art! Summer Reading Art Challenge Display is open now

In partnership with the Post Art Library, the Summer Reading Art Challenge 2021 “Tell your Tale with Art! What’s the Story of You?!” display is now open and ready for visitors! The display features over forty entries that were created by our community. These local artists used all forms, mediums, and mixed-media to create their designs. The artwork will be exhibited in the Local History and Genealogy section of the Library from now until September 25, 2021.

This display is totally free to view, no Library card is necessary. We are also urging our visitors to vote for their favorite artwork in each category. A “People’s Choice” winner will be chosen for Children’s, Teen, and Adult entries. Come and enjoy these beautiful creations soon.

Who gets a card and why?

There is a Joplin Public Library card waiting for YOU

Learn about the types of Library cards, who gets one, and for how much!

Resident Library Card

  • Annual property tax from the residents who live within the city limits of Joplin provide a great deal of the Library’s funding. (THANK YOU JOPLIN!) Due to this, everyone who lives within the city of Joplin gets a “free” JPL Library card. To  apply, you must provide a photo ID. If the ID has your current address, you are good to go. If not, you also need to bring a computer generated piece of recent mail that has your current address listed on it to apply. It is that easy! Apply in the Library (1901 E. 20th Street), or online at

But, what about those who live outside of city limits? The Library has multiple types of “non-resident” cards that are incredibly affordable or completely free! Here is a list:

Non-Resident Library Card

  • Non-resident cards are VERY affordable. If you live outside city limits, none of your tax dollars currently help fund the Joplin Public Library. The application/membership fee amount charged is calculated as the average amount an in-city resident pays to the Library from their annual property tax payment.
    • Non-residents are asked to pay a fee of $50 per year for your whole household. (Only $4.17 per month), OR, an exciting new option is our “trial card” which costs only $12.50 (for your entire household) and is good for 3 months! 

Company Library Card

  • Anyone who operates a business within Joplin city limits qualifies for a FREE Company Library card! (Ownership of the business is not required.) The application must be conducted by the Owner, CEO, Director, or President and then that person and several authorized users can enjoy the benefits of checking out and downloading materials from Joplin Public Library! Any type of material can be checked out with this card.

Student Library Card

  • University or College students residing in student housing in Joplin are eligible for a FREE Library card!
  • K-12 Students who live outside of Joplin city limits, but attend a school in Joplin, qualify for a reduced rate card of $10 per student!
    • Proof of attendance at the school is required (student ID, report card, email from teacher/building, etc).

The powers of the Joplin Public Library card are limitless. With your Library card you can check out popular, interesting, classic, and new release books, DVDs (including films, documentaries, and TV shows), and more! With most card types the item limit is 50 items checked out, at a time, per card! Also, your card can access our Digital Resources – downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and more – at no additional cost though fun, free, and convenient apps. Additionally, your card can access our Online Databases or expert Librarians for assistance with Job Hunting, Research and Genealogy, Language Learning, Cooking, DIY, and more. 

This is your Library, we can’t wait to meet you and unlock the Powers of a Joplin Public Library card in your life! Come and see us today (20th and Connecticut) or visit us online at You may also call us at 417-623-7953. 

Joplin Public Library opens tomorrow’s doors today through diverse opportunities to learn, create, explore, and have fun.

Here to help you! JPL & Economic Security Corporation

The local branch of the Economic Security Corporation’s official Mission statement is: To provide comprehensive services that will instill hope and share opportunities to eliminate the conditions of poverty and help neighbors achieve self-sufficiency. We also feel that this is a vital and essential mission of the Library. In the spirit of that partnership, an Outreach Worker from the Economic Security Corporation is available once per month (every third Friday) in the Library lobby from 1 to 3 pm.

Economic Security is an incredibly helpful community hub for any and all sorts of help. Some of the most common needs they work to meet include rental payment assistance and energy bill assistance for those struggling financially. They can even help to assist in ways such as providing a no cost smart phone, finding insurance or low to no cost medical or dental care, or even to connect to legal assistance. Other helpful resources fall under the umbrella of case management. In this instance, an Outreach Worker builds a complete relationship with a family and assists all of their needs. This resource can include helping search for employment, assisting in transportation for the family, looking into free or reduced childcare options (Headstart), and more!

ESC also runs a program called Housing Connect for people experiencing homelessness. They have resources for job searching and programs in place to lead these vulnerable community members out of the dangers of being unhoused, and into a safer and more stable future.

Economic Security is a LARGE, complex, and incredibly helpful organization. If you, or someone you know, are experiecing any types of stressors or obstacles due to financial situation, please visit us at the Library on Friday, August 20 from 1 to 3 pm OR visit their home office at 302 South Joplin Avenue ( in Joplin) or call them at 417-781-0352.

Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art

In 2014, Post Art Library put out an international call for mail art for an exhibit inside the library that has since turned into this project. In addition to accepting mail art submissions on an ongoing basis, they release active calls for mail art that coincide with exhibiting their collection. We’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with Post Art Library and Connect2Culture for Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art!

This international call for mail art is open to anyone who would like to participate, with residents of the State of Missouri (USA) being particularly encouraged to participate in celebration of the Missouri Bicentennial. How cool would it be if we received 200 pieces of mail art from Missourians in addition to those from across the country and the world?!

Inspired by Missouri’s unofficial slogan – “show me” – the theme for our 2021 call is “Show Me Mail Art.” What’s something about your hometown/state/country/etc. that you would like to show the rest of the world? Show us! Mail art may be addressed to:

Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art
c/o Post Art Library
1901 East 20th Street
Joplin, Missouri 64804

…One of the tenets of mail art is that it’s reciprocal. As such, if you send us mail art (that includes your return address), then we’ll send you a mail art thank you. Be well and in the mail!

Starting Thursday, July 1, 2021, Post Art Library Mail Art Take-Home kits are available on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. Adult kits may be picked up at the Reference Desk; Teen kits may be picked up in the Teen Department; and kid’s kits may be pick up in the Children’s Department.

Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art is a collaboration among Connect2Culture, Joplin Public Library, and Post Art Library, all 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations located in Joplin, Missouri. #PMAP2021 will be on exhibit inside the library from March 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022. For more information, visit Post Mail Art Projekt or contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041 or This project is endorsed by Missouri 2021, an initiative of The State Historical Society of Missouri.

Please note: no returns (i.e. mail art pieces will not be returned to senders); documentation (i.e. participants will receive mail art in return if they include their return addresses); not all pieces received will go on exhibit, though they will be added to Post Art Library’s mail art collection; and your mail art may be digitized and may appear on Post Art Library’s website, social media sites, or in a digital library collection (with attribution to the sender, of course). Please do not send perishable items.

Art in the library is curated by Post Art Library, a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization located inside Joplin Public Library.

JPL Strategic Plan: 2021-2025

The Joplin Public Library (JPL) has unveiled a new strategic plan effective through the year 2025. The new JPL Strategic Plan describes the Library’s mission, core values, and vision for future success while also identifying key result areas where JPL will direct its energy and resources over the next several years.


Joplin Public Library
Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 1.25.21

The Vision of The Joplin Public Library: Our Library is a welcoming community where learning and connection grow and lives are enriched.

The Mission of The Joplin Public Library: Our Library opens tomorrow’s doors today through diverse opportunities to learn, create, explore, and have fun.

At the Core of our Culture We Value:

  1. Respect

We present civility in all circumstances. 

  1. Relationships

Connections broaden horizons. We are better together than we are alone.

  1. A Heart of Service

We help each other live and experience our Mission.

  1. Kindness & Friendliness

We care about each other and all we serve. We demonstrate empathy and compassion.

  1. Inclusion

We value diversity and the freedom of expression. We provide information without bias or discrimination.

  1. Collaboration and Flexibility

We work together to achieve the best outcomes and believe that adaptability is necessary to grow.

  1. A Safe Environment to Explore

The right to free inquiry prospers at our Library. We also foster a right to imagine and innovate, ask and question, seek and find without judgement.


Strategically, JPL Focuses On These Key Result Areas To Move Toward Our Vision, While Living Our Mission:

Key Result Area: SERVICE 


  • Streamline internal processes to allow ease of access for Library users
  • Establish and implement staff and volunteer training for patron interactions and customer service
  • More fully welcome new Library cardholders

Key Result Area: AWARENESS


  • Craft strategic messages to send out on a scheduled basis, based on audience
  • Evaluate and update current signage and other wayfinding material
  • Train staff, volunteers and trustees on how to more effectively market the Library when offsite

Key Result Area: OUTREACH


  • Create partnerships with local businesses and organizations
  • Library staff and trustees attend Chamber of Commerce events alongside the Library Director
  • Expand services for seniors and long-term care facilities 

Key Result Area: INCLUSION


  • Greet Library users warmly and call people by name
  • Incentivize our loyal users and those who attend Library events
  • Finish forming the Friends group and host a membership drive
  • Encourage people to tell THEIR stories of their Library experiences

Key Result Area: ENRICHMENT


  • Ensure the Library has a broad range of materials available to fulfill most user’s needs
  • Create several informational campaigns about Library offerings and resources 
  • Continue to offer enhanced virtual programming, and when COVID is less of a concern bring back live programming with a renewed focus



Thank you to our local media for covering the story of our new plan! View their coverage here:

KSN/KODE/Four States Homepage

The Joplin Globe

KOAM/Fox 14 


Wi-Fi for all! JPL adds Wireless Services

Users can now enjoy new, exciting opportunities to access broadband technologies, following the receipt of funding from the CARES Act and Missouri Department of Economic Development. Grant funds have been used to purchase 100 wireless mobile hotspots from T-Mobile and an outdoor wireless access point.

The mobile hotspots are capable of providing Wi-Fi for up to 15 devices. Active Library users may check-out a hotspot at the Library at 1901 E. 20th Street, during scheduled business hours, or may place a hold on the item using the online catalog found at Curbside pickup for items is also available. The check-out period for the hotspot device is set at 21-days.

The recently installed outdoor wireless access point is being used to boost the Library’s internet signal. Free public Wi-Fi is now available 5am-midnight in the parking lot and outdoor areas of the Library.  No Library card or password is necessary.

“COVID-19 has made it more apparent that broadband access is lacking for many of our community members,” said Library Director Jeana Gockley. “By providing these resources, we are striving to increase access, and in turn, strengthen our community.”

These projects were supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the CARES Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, and from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.